Free Speech Letter 2/16/11

Luedtke’s analysis off point

Reading Mark Luedtke’s recent article in the Dayton City Paper analyzing the reason for Dayton’s economic decline, the first word that came to my mind was “Reaganesque.” Since Mr. Luedtke and his fellow conservatives/libertarians seem to regard Ronald Reagan in much the same way that Scientologists regard L. Ron Hubbard, he would probably consider that a compliment. It’s not. In the fashion of Mr. Reagan, Mr. Luedtke simplistically attributes Dayton’s economic decline almost entirely to just one factor: “government burdens” – chiefly in the form of high taxes. According to Mr. Luedtke, unions also hastened that decline. I’m sure that Satan – aided and abetted by liberals – also had a hand in things. Mr. Luedtke’s “analysis” was simplistic to the point of being simple-minded. The allegedly high state and local taxes which Mr. Luedtke bemoans bought roads and other infrastructure which I’m sure Mr. Luedtke uses every day. They also pay for police and fire protection, which I’m quite sure businesses use and appreciate. Ranting about taxes is easy. Specifying which local government services you would cut is tough. As for the reasons for Dayton’s economic decline, could there perhaps have been other reasons for that decline besides “government burdens?” Like, I don’t know, the overall decline of the American auto industry? The flow of capital away from manufacturing industries to the financial services sector? Mr. Luedtke contrasts Ohio with Texas, which he holds up as a shining example of Red State goodness. No mention is made of Texas’ looming budget crisis, which threatens to dwarf even Ohio’s budget problems. There’s some fiscal prudence, you betcha. Overall, Mr. Luedtke and his fellow conservatives/libertarians need to learn an important lesson – a polemic is not the same thing as an analysis.
Mr. Luedtke and his ideological soulmates are now calling the shots in Washington and Columbus. Dark days lie ahead.

– Andrew Scot McEwan
Dayton, Ohio
[RE: DCP article, “It’s the Economy, Stupid” 2/9/11]

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